There’s literally no way to get rid of bedbugs, according to new research.
Try as you might, but the pesky house critters have been a nuisance for more than 100 million years, according to researchers at the University of Sheffield.
The study, published in Current Biology, found the pests were roaming the earth with the dinosaurs.
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The 15-year study collected DNA samples of 34 species from wild sites and museums around the globe to understand their evolution. Researchers were stunned to find out that bedbugs are older than bats by about 50 million years.
“To think that the pests that live in our beds today evolved more than 100 million years ago and were walking the earth side by side with dinosaurs, was a revelation,” said Professor Mike Siva-Jothy in a press statement. “It shows that the evolutionary history of bed bugs is far more complex than we previously thought.”
While the bugs were around when the dinosaurs ruled the earth, the study believes it was unlikely the parasites fed on the dinosaurs. Bedbugs tend to feed on animals, or humans, that have homes like a bed or bird’s nest, which dinosaurs didn’t have.
Professor Klaus Reinhardt, a bedbug researcher from Dresden University in Germany, said the increase in hosts today provide more blood-sucking opportunities.
“These species are the ones we can reasonably expect to be the next ones drinking our blood, and it may not even take half a million years, given that many more humans, livestock and pets that live on earth now provide lots more opportunities,” he said.
The fact that bedbugs have found ways to adapted suggests they might be around for good.
“Bedbug populations rapidly adapted to global travel, other changes in human behavior, and [insecticides],” Coby Schal, a behavioral ecologist at North Carolina State University, told Science Magazine.
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